Forum upholds industry-wide maritime cooperation

The importance of international cooperation between the global port and shipping industry should be highlighted in the post-pandemic era, officials and maritime experts said on Wednesday.

"The global port and shipping industry should find its way to develop amid profound global changes not seen in a century, which were largely brought about by the pandemic," vice-governor of Zhejiang province Gao Xingfu said when addressing the main forum of the Sixth Maritime Silk Road Port International Cooperation Forum, which kicked off on Wednesday in Ningbo.

Gao stressed the important role Ningbo Zhoushan Port plays in international cooperation. "It should take a larger part in national strategies such as the building of the Belt and Road and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road."

Located at the intersection of the Belt and Road and the Yangtze River Economic Belt, Ningbo Zhoushan Port, which consists of 19 port areas, is one of the world's busiest ports and has topped the world's annual cargo throughput 12 years in a row.

In the first three quarters of this year, the port has witnessed a cargo throughput of 923 million metric tons and handled 23.97 million twenty-foot equivalent units, up 4.1 percent and 12.2 percent respectively.

In a keynote speech to the main forum, Mao Jianhong, chairman of Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group, said it is a common aspiration for all members of the port and shipping industry to join together to face challenges, promote win-win cooperation, stabilize supply chains and build a high-quality partnership between the port and shipping industry.

A declaration, entitled the "Ningbo Declaration of Global Port and Shipping Industry to Embrace Changes, Face Challenges and Discuss Strategies", was released at the forum on Oct 20. It calls for efforts to enhance opening-up and cooperation between the port and shipping industry to further support the global economy and trade recovery.

The Maritime Silk Road Port International Cooperation Forum, initiated in 2015, offers a broad platform for communicating and sharing the latest ideas, research results and development experiences of the port and shipping industry.

This year's event was held both online and offline, attracting more than 300 participants from over 40 countries and regions, including Mark Jackson, CEO of Baltic Exchange and Jonathan R. Goldner, vice-president of Maersk Group.

Two reports were also released at the forum — the Global Port Reputation Report (2021), and the Global Port Development Report.

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